The Real Paul Jones

Accept no substitutes

Month: March 2006 (page 2 of 4)

WSJ – Blooker article

The Wall Street Journal article on the Blooker Prize is out (and will be out in print tomorrow). Great coverage informed I think somewhat by the long phone call to Buenos Aires that I had with the author, Ian Mount, on Wednesday. Cory and I aren’t directly quoted or mentioned (only indirectly) which is okay.
I love that the Executive Editor of Little Brown says first what a hit “Julie and Julia” turned out to be, but then warns other editors and publishers away from blogs (the better to keep that resource to herself?):

Little, Brown Executive Editor Judy Clain, who acquired “Julie and Julia,” says she was amazed by the boost the book got from fans of the blog. “What we underestimated was how huge the audience was,” she says.

Still, not every blogger is a born author. “I don’t think a blog is a great place to look for new writers,” says Ms. Clain, “because there are so many, and so many aren’t very good.”

One of the Original 13

Me. From the Minutes of the UNC Faculty Council:

3. Strategic thoughts on IT.

Professor Wegner reported the results of the IT survey sent to faculty, but so far only 13 faculty had responded. Carol Jenkins spoke briefly about strategic planning for IT, but there was no formal presentation as designated on the agenda.

Nervous administrators seize middle school papers

Just minutes after the student newspaper was distributed at Smith Middle School yesterday, the papers were recalled by the assistant principal. No explanation given at the time. The students went on break, which will last just over a week, with no idea of which articles might be offensive to their adminstrators.
This morning, parents who too were curious could read a sorta explanation in the News and Observer and in the Daily Tar Heel.
Although the paper, according to advisor — and my collegue — Chris Roush, has a record of getting proper permissions from students and parents of subjects of stories (in conversation and in a comment on Eric Muller’s IsThatLegal blog), the principal (speaking in part for the assistant who seized the papers) said:

“I’m not trying to assume that it was gathered inappropriately, I just don’t know that students knew that they were being quoted for the paper,” she [Principal Reinhardt] said.

Reinhardt added that she also was concerned that the parents of the students in the articles might not have been aware of the stories. (source Daily Tar Heel – see link above)

Chris tells me (and the press in both stories and on IsThatLegal) that the Student Press Law Center and the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association have been notified and that they support the student paper and feel that all ethical and legal steps were properly taken.

Where are we now? The Tar Heel reports:

Stephanie Knott, assistant to the superintendent for community relations, said parents of the students involved will be notified, and the district will contact the Student Press Law Center in Virginia for advice.

Mark Goodman, executive director of the center, said he’s eager to help address the issue.

“We’re here to find a way to ensure that the student message gets out, but everyone stays on the right side of the law, and we’d certainly be happy to help them do that,” he said.

In the meantime the students’ lesson in civics is not really about protecting student confidentiality nor even about the Hazelwood decision. In the absense of an explanation for the ceasure, the lesson is about nothing more than the unexplained and seemingly arbitrary exercise of power over the press. Was the paper ceased because of a detailed compliant about the school’s internet filters or about one of the sports stories or another feature?

I’ll never use Word again!

Now that ajaxWrite is here.

Wash Post blogger plagiaries Salon

You would think that is too obvious of a source. Yes, there is more.


Washington Irving was there in the 1820s; I’ll be in Granada at the Alhambra at the end of April for the Louis Round Wilson Knowledge Academy meetings. All kinds of good folks have recommended Irving’s book to me (thanks Terry and Ismael). I’m about 100 pages into the 1851 facsimile edition and am enjoying Irving’s adventures and storytelling immensely. What a treat it will be to be see the Alhambra now over 150 years after Irving’s visit.

All the Vice President’s News

Mr. CheneyFred through a pointer to Smoking Gun notices that among the requirements for our traveling VP is the demand that “All Televisions to be tuned to FOX News” [VP’s staff’s caps]. Among the note’s handwritten additions to the requirements are these print sources: New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and “local newspaper” then almost as an afterthought “Wash Post.”

Talking Back to the News

Journalists (and I am one at least in title) sometimes fear that their subjects can respond. Naked Conversations by Shel Israel & Robert Scoble is/are all about that. As you may have noticed, I regularly post about interviews I give here. Glyn Moody is a little excited though about my merely threatening (his word) to post my memory of what I told him in an interview the Linux Weekly News.
Fear Not Glyn! News is a conversation and we’re all better for it. My interview with you was a conversation and the postings are a way to widen the discussion beyond the time we had to talk, beyond the space available, and beyond just the two of us. Heck, you can even follow up on things that you wish you would have asked for example.
Chris Roush and I have had earlier conversations on this same subject. This is an ongoing subject on Chris’ blog.

Mixed Signals – News and Dues

Pew Center for the Study of Internet and American Life reports that “For many home broadband users, the internet is a primary news source.” :

By the end of 2005, 50 million Americans got news online on a typical day, a sizable increase since 2002. Much of that growth has been fueled by the rise in home broadband connections over the last four years. For a group of “high-powered” online users — early adopters of home broadband who are the heaviest internet users — the internet is their primary news source on the average day.

At the same time, the US is threatening to create a tiered Internet with positive support from FCC Chief Kevin Martin (reports /. and Networking Pipeline).

People are learning from the internet instead of watching Fox! This must be stopped (or at least further regulated and tamed)!

BBC-TV and Wall Street Journal on Blooker and Jones

Blooker madness continues. After a morning at the doctor, I met up with the two person BBC-TV crew from DC and Stephen Fraser of lulu. We spent about 2 hours shooting in Carroll Hall’s Halls of Fame room. I got to be sitting in Charles Kuralt’s chair during at least part of it. Rozalia Hristova interviewed me about Blooks and the Blooker. Stephen ran out and got a copy of the Blooker overall winner (I can’t tell you what that is yet) as the show, News at 10, will run on or after the April 3rd Blooker winner announcement.
Afterwards, we all went to Bon’s Country Cookin’ where we introduced the BBCers to fried okra, fried green tomatoes, meatloaf, and hushpuppies.
During lunch, I had to walk off and take a call from Ian Mount of the Wall Street Journal. Also about the Blooker. Ian is down in Buenos Aires where they have no Wall Street. Ian’s article will run this upcoming Saturday.
I am trying not to get a standard Blooker rap, but it’s becoming unavoidable.

Jones on BBC-TV

Allen and Son
Is there no end to Blooker madness? Yes, on April 3 when we announce the winners. In the meantime, BBC-TV has picked up from the BBC Radio Five lead and is flying a crew down to interview me, in my role as judge, tomorrow.
The question is where to do the interview. In the lovely SILS Library? Outside if the weather holds? Or at Allen and Son BBQ? I’m leaning toward the last.

Dean Bowers suggests the Kuralt Learning Center, a great place. But the BBC-TV want — get this — my office “probably with the
blinds shut (for what the producer describes as a “cyberspace feel”).”
This is why the French and Italians are known for high fashion and the Brits for bowlers.

Attack of the Blog: Legal Horrors in the Workplace

John Melo of the UNC Law School’s Journal of Law and Technology writes to alert us the upcoming Symposium on April 8.

What: Symposium: Attack of the Blog: Legal Horrors in the Workplace
When: April 8, 2006, 9AM – 3PM
Where: UNC Law School, Chapel Hill, NC (Maps)

About: The increased popularity and simplicity of blogs has provided employees and employers a forum to share their thoughts and ideas with the world. Those very thoughts though have potentially far reaching ramifications. A well intentioned thought could alert a competitor to internal problems within a company.

Even worse, a blog could quickly shatter investor confidence or be misconstrued to provide insider information. The 2006 JOLT symposium will explore the possible legal problems blogs could cause for both employees and employers. How can both be protected? Can and should a company encourage blogging by its employees? What, if any, are the first amendment rights issues? How can an anonymous blogger be dealt with?

Mark Jen, Product Manager, Plaxo
Kurt Opsahl, Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Eric Goldman, Professor, Marquette University
Ed Cone, blogger/writer

Flavor of the Future; History of ibiblio

Took a phone interview and an email interview at the same time on two different topics trying to prove I could multiprocess and move in both directions at once today.

The phone call was with Dawn Vaughan of the Herald Sun (in Durham). Dawn asked the unanswerable:

Do you think there will be significant changes in home technology — beyond advances in computer hard/software? Will we use the Internet more/differently? Will we use desktop computers, or everything handheld? Any new “intelligent” home appliances? Will we watch/listen/learn on one piece of equipment? What will it look like?

I answered that the future of home entertainment is would be life-sized fully interactive revival of Flavor of Love reruns controlled by grills and a large clock worn around the home participant’s neck.

Well, after that I tried to get serious to talk about control by voice, gesture and presence, about houses and devices learning your habits and anticipating your needs based on past behaviors, about presense being sensed by various bioprofiles, facescans, heat images, jewelry and implants, about augmentation of the body, about wires vanishing, about widespread fuelcell use. And about a fetishism of the outdoors. Much as trains are now romanticised, the outdoors will be seen as something that we need to visit to make up for the lack of contact with the unpredictable world of nature. Like trains, we’ll talk about nature and our lovely relationship to it more that we actually experience it.

At the same time, I was answering email from Glyn Moody of Linux Weekly News about Open Content (LWN is not Open Content as near as I can tell, they want you to subscribe but Glyn’s open access article is accessible openly). Glyn had done a piece on Open Access earlier and this would be a follow up.

Glyn asked about Sunsite/Metalab/ibiblio’s hosting of Linux, the Linux Documentation Project, Creative Commons, Project Gutenberg and about contributor-run digital libraries. I answered and will publish what I wrote after Glyn has his cut at making sense of it all. I’m sure he’ll do a great job based on what I read in his Open Access article.

Wayne and Wax on Mash Ups and IP – This Friday

Yugen writes to remind me that Wayne and Wax will be in town playing and talking:

What: Wayne Marshall (aka Wayne&Wax) talks about music, mash-ups and intellectual property.
Where: Freedom Forum, Carroll Hall, UNC Campus
When: 3pm Friday, March 24.

Wayne Marshall is an ethnomusicologist and musician from Boston who has written extensively about remixing, mash-up, musical innovation and copyright on his blog and the riddim method. Wayne will be talking about and giving examples of sample-based music including mash-up, and how current intellectual property laws effect the creation and spread of these genres.

DJ C owner of record labels Mashit and Beat Research will be joining Wayne to bring another perspective to the mix.

Wayne and DJ C will also be playing a show at the Local 506 in Chapel Hill on Thursday March 23.

Groklaw on UNC/RHAT Symposium

PJ has a nice article at Groklaw on the UNC/RHAT Symposium (held last November, but now available for viewing). My favorite part of the article (wish I had been able to get out to Allen and Son for BBQ with PJ):

If you enjoy the videos, here’s who to thank: the University of North Carolina, iBiblio, and more than anyone Matthew Szulik, CEO of Red Hat, who really was the force that made this conference happen. Here are his opening remarks. There are more videos there as well, but I haven’t seen them myself yet. Currently it’s available only in RealMedia, but they’re working on it, I understand, to broaden your choices. I attended the conference, by the way, and had a blast, but there were different discussions going on simultaneously, so some of this is new to me too. I expanded my concept of Groklaw because of that conference, actually. Had some great barbecue too. If you are ever invited to anything Red Hat, iBiblio or the University of North Carolina is planning, my advice is, Go.

The Ridge is Blue; the Prose is Purple

Asheville elumenati David McConville is indignant about the purple prose let loose in the NYTimes Magazine Travel section by Wells Tower.

Tower wants to write about the good things in Asheville/Black Mountain, but his Columbia-trained MFA kills it for the readers. Better to go over to the J-School, Wells.

UPDATE: Check out David’s response in the comment below.

SNMNMNM outside at Weaver St

The music was good enough that I missed the beginning of the Carolina/George Mason game. The folks promoting Signal Fest had SNMNMNM playing on the lawn at Weaver St (Carrboro’s front porch or backyard depending on how you like at it).
I love the instrumentation of this band. They are playing power pop and ska with a tuba in the place of the bass guitar for instance. Other brass evident were a trumpet and a trombone. And channeling They Might Be Giants with some radical accordion playing.

Uzi and TJ were there getting the Signal Fest vibe on. Look for more as the Fest approaches — April 7 and 8.

Reviewing Dave Smith by writing about William Matthews

Eric McHenry was paid to review Dave Smith’s decade’s worth of poems but he must have wanted badly to write a homage to Willam Matthews (in today’s NYTimes Book Review). In a seven paragraph review of Smith’s Little Boats, Unsalvaged: Poems, 1992-2004, Matthews and his poetry are discussed (occassionally with Smith’s poetry) in four. Hell, Robert Frost gets his own full paragraph. Even Stanley Plumley gets a few sentences. That doesn’t leave much for Smith who suffers in comparison to both Frost and Matthews. Smith doesn’t even get the opening and closing paragraphs — those are for Matthews. The second paragraph is about Smith writing about Matthews. The penultimate, Frost used to find fault in the style of the unnamed Smith.

Now I too miss Bill Matthews and with others I regret his too early death in 1997. But does he need to rise from the grave to show us what Smith lacks? And doesn’t Smith deserve more that one paragraph dedicated to him in a review like this?

Reading a review that is too much about Matthews as a basketball opponent and not enough about Smith as a poet — I call foul.

flying leprecun?

Before going out for Irish food last night, I made a joke to my son that we were going for Irish Sushi. That would be corned beef tied to a tatertot with a piece of kelp. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I just searched for “irish sushi” and found almost exactly that (see link above).

As it turns out, I wasn’t entirely wrong. We went to the Flying Burrito where I had the Mexican variant, the Flying Leprecun. What is a Flying Leprecun? Corned beef and cabbage in a flour tortilla with salsa on top served with tatertots.

Is there no end to cross-cultural fusions in food?

Car Crashes into Cafe in Carrboro

The new Open Eye became a drive-thru (or at least a drive-into) yesterday, when a Volvo didn’t stop in front of the cafe but blasted through the window. Luckily no one was hurt.
The cause was not unlike that of the accident a few weeks back that did hurt folks selling Girl Scout cookies in front of Harris Teeter; the accelerator was stomped instead of the break.

UPDATE: Sylvia reminds us, in the comment below, that Alan Garr and the New Hill Echoes will be playing at the Open Eye tonight. Drop by. See the damage. Hear the music. Drink the coffee.

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